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Oscar Awards : Early Front-Runners in the 2020 Oscars Race

As recently as five years ago, no studio would ever consider releasing a blockbuster in the “dead” months of the year such as January, February and October. It just wasn’t done. Common wisdom dictated more traditional releases over the summer and Christmas to maximize money-making potential while using the aforementioned calendar slots as a dumping ground for troubled features. Yet recent box office successes such as Glass (January), Black Panther and Deadpool (February), Venom and Joker (October) have begun to alter that paradigm. Studios are increasingly looking at the full breadth of the calendar year as an ample opportunity to drop an event picture.

The Oscars race has similarly transformed into a year-round campaign as the traditional fall/winter awards race has expanded. Best Picture nominees such as Get Out (February), Mad Max: Fury Road (May), BlacKkKlansman (August) and Dunkirk (July) have opened the eyes of studio executives to the full year-round potential of zeitgeist-capturing pictures. We’re still three months out from the 92nd Academy Awards, and already a batch of front-runners have emerged for the 2020 Oscars. That means it’s time to update our way-too-early spotlight on the six major races.

Best Picture

Leading the Charge:

  • The Irishman
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  • Marriage Story
  • Parasite
  • The Two Popes
  • The Farewell
  • Jojo Rabbit
  • Bombshell
  • Joker

In the Hunt:

  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
  • Ford v Ferrari
  • Just Mercy
  • Rocketman
  • Honey Boy
  • Waves
  • Pain and Glory

Still to See: Little Women1917Dark WatersRichard Jewell, Cats

Best Director

Leading the Charge:

  • Martin Scorsese (The Irishman)
  • Bong Joon Ho (Parasite)
  • Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story)
  • Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
  • Fernando Meirelles (The Two Popes)

In the Hunt:

  • Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit)
  • Greta Gerwig (Little Women)
  • Todd Phillips (Joker)
  • Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
  • Alma Har’el (Honey Boy)
  • Trey Edward Shults (Waves)
  • James Mangold (Ford v Ferrari)
  • Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood)
  • Jay Roach (Bombshell)

Best Actor

Leading the Charge:

  • Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)
  • Adam Driver (Marriage Story)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
  • Robert De Niro (The Irishman)
  • Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes)

In the Hunt:

  • Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory)
  • Taron Egerton (Rocketman)
  • Eddie Murphy (Dolemite is My Name)
  • Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems)
  • Michael B. Jordan (Justy Mercy)
  • Christian Bale (Ford v Ferrari)
  • Matt Damon (Ford v Ferrari)
  • Robert Pattinson (The Lighthouse)

Best Actress

Leading the Charge:

  • Renée Zellweger (Judy)
  • Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story)
  • Charlize Theron (Bombshell)
  • Lupita Nyong’o (Us)
  • Saoirse Ronan (Little Women)

In the Hunt:

  • Awkwafina (The Farewell)
  • Cynthia Erivo (Harriet)
  • Florence Pugh (Midsommar)
  • Alfre Woodard (Clemency)
  • Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen & Slim)
  • Felicity Jones (The Aeronauts)

Best Supporting Actor

Leading the Charge:

  • Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
  • Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood)
  • Shia LaBeouf (Honey Boy)
  • Jamie Foxx (Just Mercy)
  • Al Pacino (The Irishman)

In the Hunt:

  • Joe Pesci (The Irishman)
  • Sterling K. Brown (Waves)
  • Kelvin Harrison Jr. (Waves)
  • John Lithgow (Bombshell)
  • Willem Dafoe (The Lighthouse)
  • Alan Alda (Marriage Story)
  • Timothée Chalamet (Little Women)
  • Anthony Hopkins (The Two Popes)

Best Supporting Actress

Leading the Charge:

  • Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers)
  • Laura Dern (Marriage Story)
  • Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit)
  • Margot Robbie (Bombshell)
  • Florence Pugh (Little Women)

In the Hunt:

  • Shuzhen Zhao (The Farewell)
  • Annette Bening (The Report)
  • Taylor Russell (Waves)
  • Nicole Kidman (Bombshell)
  • Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)

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